Where Social Media is Headed in the Next Five Years

Where Social Media is Headed in the Next Five Years

When social media was new, it was the faddish addiction of young people and early adopters. However, the first social networks would appear and disappear as users lost interest. Today, even grandparents are regulars on certain networks. Social media has developed into a full-blown epidemic. The importance is no longer driven because it is new and shiny. Social media is no longer the cool new thing, but is now the town square.

There have been many changes since the first recognized social media site appeared, SixDegrees.com in 1997. The focus has changed from “going viral” to meaningful engagement. It is not enough for businesses to just be there. The content must be meaningful.

However, while many social media sites exist, Facebook remains the undisputed king. Check out the top 10 standings:

  1. Facebook — 1,100,000,000 users
  2. Twitter — 310,000,000 users
  3. LinkedIn — 255,000,000 users
  4. Pinterest — 250,000,000 users
  5. Google+ — 120,000,000 users
  6. Tumblr — 110,000,000 users
  7. Instagram — 100,000,000 users
  8. Vkontakte (VK) — 80,000,000 users
  9. Flickr — 65,000,000 users
  10. Vine — 42,000,000 users

Who Will Be Left In 5 Years?

Facebook will absolutely continue to thrive, but Twitter and LinkedIn are showing growth and/or revenue troubles. Twitter especially has a problem attracting new users without alienating existing ones. Pinterest has limited appeal. Google+ is a ghost town, and Google has already started uncoupling  and deemphasizing the social network. The others have all found a happy equilibrium serving a niche.

Big Data Becomes Bigger

Big data simply refers to the collection of customer information. The more one knows about customers, the more targeted and relevant a network can create an experience, keeping users engaged. Facebook has recently revised their News Feed algorithm to ensure users see the “most engaging” posts first, and Twitter followed with changes to their timeline which has traditionally only showed posts in reverse chronological order.

Social media sites are not only concerned with user experience, they are using their data collection to make advertising platforms more targeted and robust, thus increasing revenue. Imagine walking past a McDonald’s and receiving a tweet about their new burger. Data will become customized and open, creating new opportunities for social marketing.

Mobile and Entertainment

Mobile is trending ahead of desktops as the main method of accessing the internet. It will not stop. Automobiles are slated to become mobile internet devices, Wearable tech, like Google Glass, will make constant connectivity truly constant. Expect major eyewear brands to license the technology soon.

Content, sites and social media platforms who are not ready for this shift will be left behind. On social media, business will need to move away from text focused content, and toward tappable post elements, videos, and other content that increases user experience and interaction.

Social Media Marketing

Good marketers integrate marketing efforts across multiple media. However, social media was often an afterthought or an aside in the early years. Today, social media is an essential element to marketing strategies. Because of the shift away from the desktop, brands will need to focus on mobile interactivity. Social media is no longer just networking. Social is necessary for the overall marketing campaign, not just a separate channel.

This is the way to look at it… Social media is not just a way to sell to your customers. It is a way to connect, create a community, and build loyalty. As the pinnacle of your overall marketing campaign — offline, online, in-store — social marketing  is central, not separate to your brand communication. Start relating to customers, and stop selling to them. When you build trust and loyalty, the sales will come. Make sense?

Leveraging Your Network

The internet is becoming a very crowded place, and some would say there is content overload. However, content creation is needed for visibility. Businesses will need to maximize advantages with franchisees, dealers, or employees. Use the power of the crowd! Local marketing will particularly benefit from the advantages of utilizing networks.

What does this mean?

First and foremost, do not wait until you believe you know all the answers. Leave your competitors in the dust by increasing your investment in social media and  mobile. You will be a master, with skills and abilities far beyond your competition, as they are just getting started.

Next, capture and utilize analytics. Regularly review data and statistics to know what is and is not working. Maximize your return on investment by making adjustments as the data dictates.

There is a great shift underway with social media. Social marketing is becoming the central focus. Good marketers will learn to get the most from these tools for a competitive advantage.

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brenda
Member
brenda

One thing which I definitely agree with you on is the mobile perspective. More and more people are opting for browsing the Internet through smart phones. That is why, this change is going to be the most obvious one. The businesses as well as social media websites which are not ready for smartphone traffic would definitely lose out.

I also agree with your point on a loyalty-based social media communities as well. These will surely be the future.

RunningTheGalaxies
Member
We can all agree that technology and social media has taken over the world. Like you said, it was a new fascinating creation, but now it is used for everything in our everyday lives. It is very annoying because there are a lot of things that are easier to perform on paper than it is on the computer, where the device always has some kind of trouble in function that prevents us from finishing an important task that paper would never hold us back from. We are way too dependent on it, and I am sure the whole world would… Read more »
mdbree17
Member
mdbree17

More and more people will be addicted and unfocused to other things. They will spend more on data and internet upgrades because of the social media they’re in and wanted to have an update every now and then. Some people’s purpose of having a social media is to show off even if it’s a contrary on the reality of their lives.

Lexa
Member
Lexa
Social media is a part of life now, but it’s used more commercially now than for private and personal use. The problem is boundaries and to know what is appropriate and what isn’t. Basically a tweet can get you arrested or sued because it’s so public now, therefore even with branding you must be careful to ‘repost’ on Instagram correctly for copyright reasons. I know with some images, companies message and ask if they can use the images on their social media and websites. One must be careful of sharing what isn’t theirs as regrams and retweets are all too… Read more »
stunayoshivongola B.
Member
stunayoshivongola B.

Social media will become much more about building connections and loyalty with costumers.There’s a lot of emphasis on the importance of businesses increasing their visibility on all going social media platforms, and we do a great job connecting that need to how social media will continue to change from time to time.

szerjhex18
Member
szerjhex18
Where social media headed in the next 5 years. For me i don’t know because i can’t predict the future. but i am hoping that this coming next 5 years those social media site will improved their Account Security , Profile Security of everyone who uses it. Because now social media is part of our daily life. We post status, we share picture that we think is lovable or interesting, or we upload our own photo because we are proud what were doing and what we have.It’s cool because some people seeing our post and photos in an instant. But… Read more »
Timothy Alexander
Guest

I agree. In recent years, my Twitter was hacked twice. The first time, Twitter caught it and froze my account until they verified. The second time, they didn’t catch it but I now have added two-stage verification at login.

yenixer
Member
yenixer
If people will still value their privacy and security in the next five years then the social media sites who will offer more privacy and social security features will probably stay. I agree that most us relies heavily on this different sites to promote and gain loyalty specially with facebook. I am not really aware with the issues of twitter but I am not sure if they will still have innovative actions or ideas regarding to their site so that their site user may increase. Regardless of what will be the features that these social media sites may offer in… Read more »
Dlankulit
Member
Dlankulit

Social Media depends on the future of mobile technology. Imagine when smartphones become smarter and more powerful that it will have all the functionalities of your home computer. It will be like bringing your pc with you conveniently inside your pocket.

xobe
Member
xobe
Social media now is very trending for all devices whether its computer, tablet or even mobile phones. Society easily adapted all these changes because it drives entertainment and pleasures for everyone. People became more interested in participating social media because of some tips and earnings they could get regarding their needs. It brought also current events and updated news for individuals and it saves their time instead of watching television. Developers of various social media’s should be credited for whatever improvements they contributed for the past 5 years. Without them, life is boring and it could results to the downfall… Read more »
hazelandrea
Member
hazelandrea
I see that social media provides a lot of benefits to people like communication, business, and many more but we can’t deny the fact that the disadvantages of social media causes a lot of problems in our society. One main problem is cyber bullying where a lot of people a being degraded and treated unfairly just for ‘fun’. This has caused many cases of suicide and it is very depressing knowing that inanimate objects that are supposed to make our living better are being utilized the wrong way and causing a lot of problems. Another negative effect of social media… Read more »
melvs
Member
melvs

Social Media, meaning a new way to interact with people via the internet. I can remember before when the only way to communicate was through bulletin boards and mIrc, now its so much more advance that even with this social medias someone can built their business or create careers form them. Truly the best way is to engage and be able to keep up knowing all ways to follow the trend what is in and what is not. That will surely put someone’s business prosper in ways you can never image.

kingcool52
Member

It’s crazy to think that we already have our first victim in the form of Vine. Did anyone predict that Vine would be the first site to die out? I just can’t see any of the other ones dying out especially in the next five years. Facebook and Twitter are in relatively strong positions and I just can’t see them being closed down. Facebook is probably in the strongest position of them all. Even when you consider how large the other social networks are on that list, you just can’t imagine any of them having trouble staying open.

Timothy Alexander
Guest

I wouldn’t be so fast with Twitter. They have trouble growing their total number of active users. Will they shut down? Probably not, even MySpace is still up and running. But, I can see a takeover by a private firm.

sammy-san
Member
sammy-san
When I first encountered Facebook I was clueless as to how addictive social media could actually be. Seeing my friends interact through Facebook made me curious enough to set an account. I recall being ecstatic while trying out all the new features. I was a student back then. Whenever I’d use Facebook I made sure to check the home page a lot and like the posts of almost every person on my home page. Posting pictures and entering group chats were always fascinating for me. With Facebook messenger nowadays, I don’t have to text so much. Instead, I enter a… Read more »
Flex
Member
Flex
I agree with you, back then, my friends were addicted playing farmville in facebook and I was not bothered until they started teasing me to play with them because I was out of place with their convo. Then, I started playing it and became a fan of it until today but with the other features of facebook, less playing I supposed. But on top of it, I am still connected with my miles-away friends and families through social media and able to hang with them if time permits. Looking forward, I think facebook will definitely thrive with more and more… Read more »
michelle camo
Member
michelle camo

Wether we like it or not, modern age is now with internet and it will definitely grow bigger and bigger in the coming years. I believe in the future years, more things will be developed and more things will be invented when it comes to social media.

iamreeence
Member
iamreeence
Who will be left in 5 years? I think most of the social media will survive most especially the big three, which are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As I can see most social media users have these 3 applications on their mobile phones, it makes their life experience posted online and is much more fun and memorable, I am saying this as I am a user of these 3 social media platforms myself. Big Data Becomes Bigger As of now, this is a total game changer, not only for the users but for the businesses. It favors most of the… Read more »
Haley
Member
Haley
First I will not pay a single penny on facebook ad for my business exposure now that they have produced lots of bots just to make it look like your posts were gaining attention little did you know it was flooded with bot’s likes, share and some generic comments. Facebook is not the same like it used to before. I would suggest that if you want to drive legit customers or clients you need to be hands on and think ahead, You have to maximize each SNS to its potential in marketing your product, always keep updated on the progress… Read more »
markjun
Member
markjun

Unless another application pops-up, Facebook will continue to dominate the social media. It is like Lebron James in NBA, unless Kevin Durant or other player stands out, he will still be the King of basketball in the next few years.

fern2x2001
Member
fern2x2001
When i was in high school there were fps computer games and social media site that was thriving during those times. It was so popular that every computer shops here in our place has it. That made me think to myself, could this get any better?! will it there be new games and sites that could overthrow these popular games and sites?!?! Well, i got my answer after just a couple of years. They were overthrown by better games and better sites. That means everything could be replaced!!! And with the trends today, you could actually have a foresight of… Read more »
ecole11j
Member
ecole11j

The staying power of Facebook really is incredible. Being around a decade old should make it a dinosaur by Internet standards. So many kids claim that Facebook is “just for old people,” but research on Internet use among teens shows most of them use it anyway. It’s become kind of difficult to avoid even if you’re not really into social media.